January 9, 2019 / 11:51 AM / 9 months ago

Dutch court to hear demands to end Groningen gas output on Jan. 17

AMSTERDAM, Jan 9 (Reuters) - The Dutch High Court said on Wednesday it would consider demands on Jan. 17 seeking an immediate end to gas production from the Groningen field, after the government said it would cut output gradually.

The government has capped Groningen production at 19.4 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the year starting October 2018 and said it would reduce output to zero in the coming decade.

The High Court said it had received 26 objections to the plan, ranging from civilians to local and regional authorities, expressing concerns about seismic risks caused by drilling and demanding that production is stopped at once.

Two of those objections would be heard this month and the rest were expected to be dealt with in April, the court said.

Years of gas extraction have led to a string of minor earthquakes in the Groningen region, damaging thousands of houses and buildings in the northern Dutch province.

The government said last year that production would end completely by 2030, after already being cut by more than 60 percent since its peak in 2013.

Reporting by Bart Meijer Editing by Edmund Blair

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